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Scrimshaw whale teeth
Scrimshaw whale teeth
Resource Typeimage
TitleScrimshaw whale teeth
Coverage / Year19th century
DescriptionPhotograph, b/w
InterpretationDepicting an old Dutch whaling fluyte in profile (lower), and an old Dutch version of a whale (upper). This particular version of a whale appears frequently in engravings from the 1600s. Scrimshaw is considered an original American folk art form. While at sea whaling the carving of ivory, bone, or shell offered diversion and entertainment for the sailors as they waited for a whale to be spotted. It required a great deal of patience and accurate control of the sharp instrument used to incise the lines on the object. Traditionally, an engraving tool the size of a large needle was used to scratch or "draw" on the object. Then an application of india ink was rubbed into the recessed lines scratched on the surface. The excess ink was then wiped away, providing contrast and bringing the pictures to life.
Lesson Plans / ThemesWhaling Slide Show;
Learning Standards16 History; 15 Economics; 17 Geography;
Author or CreatorUnknown
SourceMaritime Arts by William Gilkerson, ISBN 0-87577-061-4, 76 (p.67)
Subject / KeywordsWhaling; Scrimshaw; Folk art; Folk art--United States; Whales; Whale; Ink; Engraving
Collection PublisherIllinois State Library;
Further InformationFor any further information related to this record, please contact the Collection Publisher. See for more information about this project.
Rights Management Statement
CONTENTdm file name25022141882003_whale10.jpg
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